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  • Archive for December, 2009

    A thought

    Tuesday, December 29th, 2009

    “True greatness is not always tied to the scope of our tasks, but to the quality of how we carry out our tasks whatever they are.” -Spencer Kimball

    I was going to write more about this, but reflecting on the content of the quote- the quality of what I’d write wouldn’t be great, so I’ll pass for now. We’re in the midst of ear infections and sore throats and the like, so I’m struggling to make the quality of any of my tasks great at the moment.

    Expect more consistent posts once the new year starts… it’s on my Uberlist!

    My Christmas Was Lovely…

    Sunday, December 27th, 2009

    The Girls

    There was much eating of food and spending time with family.  I was reminded of what is really important–not the gifts, but the reaffirmed bonds.  I’m grateful for that.

    How was your Christmas?

    Over and Underneath

    Tuesday, December 15th, 2009

    Maryanne posted about music today on her blog, and it got me thinking about this song.  It’s all about how we are always loved, no matter what.  I thought, “What a great message for Zoe!”, but the more I think about it, the more I see it as a great message for all of us.  Everyone needs to feel that they are loved, always and no matter what.

    How can we show the people we share our homes and lives with that they are always loved?


    Wednesday, December 9th, 2009

    While washing my clothes this morning, I started thinking about all the things I was grateful for today (check it out on my blog…)  Too often I focus on what I’m frustrated with (“I’m feeling too poorly to go to work today”) and not the silver lining (“I get to see my doctor today and sleep in”).  I don’t want to go all Pollyanna on you, because I know not every situation has a silver lining, but I know that there is much to be grateful for.

    I stole the list idea from Hilary (who may have “borrowed” it from Oprah…)  What are some other ways we can be grateful?  And how can we encourage gratitude in our homes?


    Monday, December 7th, 2009

    I love new starts. I love the beginning of a new week, a new month, and the opportunity it provides to plan and create a contained set of things to get done in an established time frame.  I appreciate the repeated chance to reflect back and evaluate what worked and what didn’t; what could be changed for next time.

    So I especially love the start of a new year.

    I’m not a big one for resolutions. They’re too vague for me, it’s too easy to get discouraged. (How do you measure “Be healthier”?)

    But a to do list?  That I can do.

    To- do lists for a week, by their nature, have to be short, concise, and specific, to be in any way effective.

    To-do lists for a year? Expansive, ambitious, long.

    Enter the Uberlist.

    I’m not sure who first came up with the idea of the Uberlist; I came across it on the blog of a friend of a friend.  The idea is to come up with a to do list for the coming year, with as many items on it as the number of the year. (For the friend of a friend it started in 1998 with 98 items, and continued on, so this year had 109 items, and 2010 will have 110.)  Some of the items will be menial ( #65. Organize desk), some much bigger (#21. Go to Disneyland).  Some are things you’d do anyway, (#82 Go to dentist), others should stretch you (#34 Memorize 10 hymns).

    I’ve done an Uberlist for the last 3 years, and I love it. So far this year I’ve finished 48 of my 109 goals, which is pretty good. There’s a good chance I’ll  finish another couple before the year is out (#12 Reread a childhood favorite is a strong contender).

    I split my list into sections to make it easier to go through, and to make it easier to balance out. (It gets hard to come up with new items once you hit about 50.)  The sections I used last year were:

    Books  (ie. #11 Read something by an author I’ve always meant to try. )

    Local attractions (#19 Go to the zoo )

    Trips (#22 Visit family in Utah)

    Spirituality  (#26 Read the New Testament)

    Personal Development (#38 Make a new friend)

    Leisure (#48 Go to a musical)

    Home  (#63 Get shelving for closets)

    Writing (#78 Edit novel)

    Health  (# Floss)

    Homemaking Skills (#100 Make a master grocery shopping list)

    Entrepreneur endeavors (# 107 Come up with name for Etsy store)

    This year I’ll probably add Creativity and Education as new sections.

    But a list isn’t any good unless you use it, especially one this long, so I come up with the list during December, and then at the beginning of each month I take a look at it. I pick things off of the list I can tackle that month, and then break it into weeks.  Some things are easier to get taken care of than others, some leap to the top of the list (#70 Put away Christmas decorations), others take planning and work (#92 Make a quilt), some stay on the list for years (#55 Make curtains for Z’s room).

    And some just become unimportant and never get done.  Interests or time or circumstance change, and things listed at the beginning of the year aren’t always relevant six months later. And that’s just fine.

    The point, for me, is to catch a vision of the year to come, from the basics to the dreams. Having it written down gives me a reference point on the days that seem overly cluttered, or unusually empty. When I feel like I’m missing the mark, I can reassess.

    I keep my list on the computer, and when I finish an item I bold it. It’s visually lovely that way.

    So I’d like to invite you to join me, if you’re so inclined.  Do it by yourself, or with your family (I might try that this year). Make your list as safe or ambitious as you prefer.   If you’d like, share one or two of your list items with us. It’s always inspiring to see what other people have planned for their life.  And if you’re curious, post a number from 1-110 and I’ll tell you what that item on my Uberlist is.

    Happy planning!